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newbie, needs guidance

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newbie, needs guidance

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Old 07-29-08, 07:18 PM
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WR3K
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newbie, needs guidance

hey guys, ill be going to college this august in DC, and i would like to have a nice bike so i can dodge the car most of the time.


guide me through the process of choosing which brands (remember they are ALL new to me, as well as all your terminologies)

i was looking at Konas, they seem pretty cool.



i need a nice light ride that will be perfect for the city and metro stations but at the same time allow me to tear up the hills and parks and tracks when i want.



the kona dew and smoke 2-9 look pretty darn cool for what i need but you guy's opinion would be much appreciated. i dont even know if those bikes are what i need. it would be nice if the bike already came with a little tiny rack on the back for maybe grocery store trips to get mah fruit in college!!!!


thx guys
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Old 07-29-08, 07:25 PM
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Kona Smoke is a great bike from what i've heard. You can also check out bikes from KHS, which also has good bang for your buck. Make sure you put money in your budget for accessories, like helmet, LOCK (dont skimp!), lights, pumps, spare tubes and tools for tire change.
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Old 07-29-08, 07:33 PM
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what would make the smoke any different from the dew? i dont get what parts they upgrade and how important they are, neither do i get any fundamental bike differences the two models may have.
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Old 07-29-08, 07:37 PM
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Just remember: The bigger the tire, the lower the air pressure, and the slower the speed. Likewise, thin tires with high air pressure equal greater speed.

If you really want to cut across grass, dirt, gravel, etc., get a Trek 7000 series, preferrably 7300 or higher.

If you want to go fast, get something more roadlike.

I just bought the Soho 1.0 by Trek, and couldn't be happier with it (unless I won it in a contest or something).

I think it was underpriced at $699 out the door (tax included).

I rode it to work and back for the first time today (not my first time riding to work and back, but it was on this new bike), and I wasn't sitting down, in first gear, struggling to get up the hills. I was up on my feet and out of the saddle, swinging my handlebars and jamming up those hills like I was running up the stairs.

I just turned a steep, nasty hill outside my neighborhood into a 30-second sprint. I cut two minutes off my commute on that hill alone.

The second hill is worse. I ended up sitting for half of it, riding in first gear. Still have to work on that.

But the third hill, again, I stood up and sprinted up it.

I shaved five minutes off my time (and that included a couple wrong turns).

My goal is twenty minutes.
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Old 07-29-08, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by WR3K View Post
what would make the smoke any different from the dew? i dont get what parts they upgrade and how important they are, neither do i get any fundamental bike differences the two models may have.
Differences are the quality of parts that are used like derailluers, shifters, hubs and etc... I'd personally go with the smoke because its slightly cheaper and comes with some cool fenders.
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Old 07-29-08, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by WR3K View Post
what would make the smoke any different from the dew? i dont get what parts they upgrade and how important they are, neither do i get any fundamental bike differences the two models may have.
Well, they both pretty much have the same components. The primary differences are:

The Smoke 2-9 has a Cro-Mo (better than Hi-Ten) steel frame with grip shifters.
The Dew has an aluminum frame with trigger shifters.

I would personally go with the Smoke. (But then again, I own a older Smoke w/26" wheels).
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Old 07-30-08, 11:58 PM
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now say i did have hills to cross, is there any better gear system to have? like less gears? or does it really matter when you use the bike nicely



also can someone point me to a supposedly good and known fold up bike? just in case i like it, it would be useful on the metro
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Old 07-31-08, 02:00 AM
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Originally Posted by WR3K View Post

also can someone point me to a supposedly good and known fold up bike? just in case i like it, it would be useful on the metro
all you need: http://www.dahon.com/us/jack.htm



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Old 07-31-08, 04:17 AM
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don't be afraid to buy second hand too.
the advantage of a second hand bike is that you could probably sell it for the same price you bought it a year later.
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Old 07-31-08, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Fairmont View Post
Just remember: The bigger the tire, the lower the air pressure, and the slower the speed. Likewise, thin tires with high air pressure equal greater speed.

If you really want to cut across grass, dirt, gravel, etc., get a Trek 7000 series, preferrably 7300 or higher.

If you want to go fast, get something more roadlike.

I just bought the Soho 1.0 by Trek, and couldn't be happier with it (unless I won it in a contest or something).

I think it was underpriced at $699 out the door (tax included).

I rode it to work and back for the first time today (not my first time riding to work and back, but it was on this new bike), and I wasn't sitting down, in first gear, struggling to get up the hills. I was up on my feet and out of the saddle, swinging my handlebars and jamming up those hills like I was running up the stairs.

I just turned a steep, nasty hill outside my neighborhood into a 30-second sprint. I cut two minutes off my commute on that hill alone.

The second hill is worse. I ended up sitting for half of it, riding in first gear. Still have to work on that.

But the third hill, again, I stood up and sprinted up it.

I shaved five minutes off my time (and that included a couple wrong turns).

My goal is twenty minutes.

I appreciate your perspective. We're commuting, right? Check out posts by PaulH from D.C. for the most sensible comments I've seen on the subject of getting from A to B.
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Old 07-31-08, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Fairmont View Post
Just remember: The bigger the tire, the lower the air pressure, and the slower the speed. Likewise, thin tires with high air pressure equal greater speed.

If you really want to cut across grass, dirt, gravel, etc., get a Trek 7000 series, preferrably 7300 or higher.

If you want to go fast, get something more roadlike.

I just bought the Soho 1.0 by Trek, and couldn't be happier with it (unless I won it in a contest or something).

I think it was underpriced at $699 out the door (tax included).

I rode it to work and back for the first time today (not my first time riding to work and back, but it was on this new bike), and I wasn't sitting down, in first gear, struggling to get up the hills. I was up on my feet and out of the saddle, swinging my handlebars and jamming up those hills like I was running up the stairs.

I just turned a steep, nasty hill outside my neighborhood into a 30-second sprint. I cut two minutes off my commute on that hill alone.

The second hill is worse. I ended up sitting for half of it, riding in first gear. Still have to work on that.

But the third hill, again, I stood up and sprinted up it.

I shaved five minutes off my time (and that included a couple wrong turns).

My goal is twenty minutes.
20 Minutes for how many miles?
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Old 07-31-08, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by shubonker View Post
Differences are the quality of parts that are used like derailluers, shifters, hubs and etc... I'd personally go with the smoke because its slightly cheaper and comes with some cool fenders.
Like the schwinn world tour.

Or go single speed road bike,
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Old 07-31-08, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by WR3K View Post
now say i did have hills to cross, is there any better gear system to have? like less gears? or does it really matter when you use the bike nicely

also can someone point me to a supposedly good and known fold up bike? just in case i like it, it would be useful on the metro
Any modern gear system sold on the sorts of bikes you'll see in a bike shop will work just fine for a casual rider. Better (more expensive) gear systems might shift just a little faster, and have components that weigh a bit less. The only thing I might suggest is staying away from the very cheapest, as some of them tend to need more frequent adjustment. But probably the Smoke and Dew are both fine in that regard.

More vs. less gears is a preference. The bikes you will probably be looking at will have either 8 or 9 gears in the rear, which is more than enough. The only thing you might think about is whether you want 2 or 3 gears in the front. The tradeoff is that 2 gears in front is easier to maintain and is less complicated, but having 3 gears lets you have a "granny gear" for helping you get up big hills. For the most part, newer riders see benefit in having the granny gear, and the DC area has enough hills that I like having a granny gear on my bikes.

For what it's worth, you can take a regular bike on the Metro outside of peak hours.

Good luck, and have fun riding in DC!
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Old 07-31-08, 06:56 AM
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It doesn't matter what bike you choose as that comes in second to proper fit, the value of which is the first thing you should think about. Otherwise you'll be posting here in a couple of months about tingling hands and a sore ***** LOL.
The quality of each of these machines is probably fine, your level of fitness vs your route will determine the gearing you need. Look at a triple with an 8 or 9 speed rear for a nice selection of choices for killer hills. This is general but per your post, you're new and need some background. Also, get some commuting style clip in shoes (ones you can actually walk on off the bike) with the cleat imbedded in the sole. These are handy.
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Old 07-31-08, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by WR3K View Post
what would make the smoke any different from the dew? i dont get what parts they upgrade and how important they are, neither do i get any fundamental bike differences the two models may have.
The Smoke is cheaper and already comes with a rack and fenders.

The Smoke has a steel frame, and the Dew is aluminum. Ride both to see which you like the "feel" of better.
The Smoke is a bit heavier than the Dew.

The Dew has some variations, Dew, Dew Plus, Dew Deluxe which basically the more expensive models are lighter with better brakes and better gearing. But the base model Dew is a good bike and should be fine!
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Old 07-31-08, 12:17 PM
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Nearly all the manufacturers will have a bike in that price range similar to the Kona's. I would go to at least 3 stores with different bikes and ride them around. By the one that fits the best, has the shifters you like, and looks the way you want. At the very least you want the Cro-Moly frame or aluminium frame. Don't get the gas-pipe frame, don't be that guy.
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Old 07-31-08, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by timdoug View Post
Nearly all the manufacturers will have a bike in that price range similar to the Kona's. I would go to at least 3 stores with different bikes and ride them around. By the one that fits the best, has the shifters you like, and looks the way you want. At the very least you want the Cro-Moly frame or aluminium frame. Don't get the gas-pipe frame, don't be that guy.
"gas-pipe" frame?
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Old 07-31-08, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by cg1985 View Post
"gas-pipe" frame?
Cheap steel that looks like it was welded by a Chinese 8 year old I'm thinking.
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